Small-scale LNG – an opportunity for Romanian transportation

Compared to oil products, natural gas is clean burning, with virtually no particle and sulphur emissions, close to no NOx emissions, and lower CO2 emissions. Increasingly, it is also more affordable, despite higher logistics costs.

Romania should follow the lead of many other countries around the world, and consider incentives for ship and truck owners to switch to natural gas.

What is LNG and what role does it play in the global gas market?

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has recently marked its 50th anniversary, having become a key way to transport natural gas across large distances, in a flexible manner, where pipeline alternatives are not feasible. The solution is simple: cool down processed natural gas (methane and some ethane, after impurities are removed) to -162°C, until it becomes liquid. This reduces its size more than 600 times without requiring high pressures, and makes it easier to store/ transport in a tank, instead of using a traditional underground storage solution/ pipeline.

The key advantage is flexibility for both buyer and seller. LNG increases their bargaining power, since they are not stuck at either end of a pipeline, and can choose to enter into contracts with any other party who has LNG facilities. On the downside, cooling down natural gas to the required temperature, and holding it cool for a long time is energy intensive, hence expensive.

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